TLC Postpones Funeral-Themed Show: Last week in TV Tidbits, we told you about TLC’s upcoming special Best Funeral Ever—a show in which the Dallas-based Golden Gate Funeral Home where a staff is ready to organize the most unique and extravagant funerals ceremonies. However in light of Friday’s tragedy, the network has decided to delay the one-hour special until Sunday, Jan. 6 after Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s Halloween special. [The Hollywood Reporter]
The People Spoke, Discovery Listened: Soon after Friday’s elementary school shooting in Connecticut, outraged citizens began posting angry messages on the Facebook page for Discovery Channel’s docu-series, American Guns. On Monday it was announced that American Guns will not be receiving a third season and the pro-gun series has been cancelled. [Deadline]
9021-Oh!: Looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt is getting a handsome new vistor when Lifetime’s The Client List returns next year. 90210’s Trevor Donovan is temporarily leaving his posh Beverly Hills show and headed over to The Rub—the secret prostitution massage parlor where Hewitt’s character, Riley Parks, works. Donovan will guest star in an upcoming episode as an NFL quarterback who has an odd dessert-driven fetish. Yum. [Zap2it]
Jack Black Starts New Web Project: According to a press release on Monday, Jack Black’s newest web comedy series is set to debut in Spring 2012. “Ghost Ghirls follows the comedic antics of two young female ghostbusters, played by Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci--a pair of investigators attempting to solve the mysteries behind paranormal phenomena.” Jake Johnson, Molly Shannon, Jason Schwartzman and many others will gues star in the upcoming scripted paranormal procedural produced by Shine America and Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions.
Nashville Casts a New Face: Actress Ming-Na, known for her sporadic TV roles on E.R., Two and a Half Men, and Eureka, has been tapped to guest star on an upcoming episode of Nashville. Ming-Na will appear on the ABC drama’s 11 episode as Calista Reeves, a successful L.A. music label executive who is determined to lure Reyna (Connie Britton) away from Edgehill Records. [TV Line]
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At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.